Monday, 26 January 2015

Hospital Visitor Jailed For Molesting Down's Syndrome Patient

A hospital visitor, who took sexual advantage of a 29 year-old woman with Down's Syndrome, repeatedly kissing her and once putting his hand between her legs, has been jailed for twenty-one months.

Investigative journalist Anthony Moncrieffe, 68, of Buckland Hill, Maidstone, visited the Dover woman at the Royal Brompton Hospital, Chelsea and was arrested on the ward when suspicious staff eventually called the police.

"Her mental disorder means she is unable to agree to sexual touching, she has Down's Syndrome and looks about ten years-old," Isleworth Crown Court Judge Nicholas Wood told the first-time offender.

"She has been described in this court as an: 'Innocent sweet-smiling child' and was described by one witness of reminding her of her five year-old.

"Kent social services knew she was a vulnerable person and she was incapable of agreeing to sexual touching because she does not understand the nature and consequences of it."

He was found guilty by a jury of six counts of sexual activity with a mentally disabled person between between September 27 and November 15, 2012.

Five counts relate to kissing the woman on the lips and the sixth alleges Moncrieffe, a former investigative journalist and a veteran of the Daily Mirror; Sunday People; Press Association and Reuters, put his hand beneath her underwear.

"You put your hand inside her knickers, at the front," Judge Wood told Moncrieffe. "There was a significant degree of planning by you and a breach of trust."

Moncrieffe must also sign the sex offenders register for ten years and was made subject to an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order, banning him from any contact with the victim.

His lawyer Andrew Hope said: "When he saw the probation service Mr. Moncrieffe was open to some sort of intervention, but his difficulty is he maintains his innocence.

"The probation service conclude that by not taking responsibility he is minimising the seriousness of the offences.

"The nursing staff indicated there was a genuine degree of affection for the complainant from this defendant, who sadly now suffers from several serious health problems.

"He has sleep apnea and needs a machine to sleep, has hearing problems and chronic anxiety and depression exacerbated since the jury's verdicts were returned."  

Moncrieffe was the subject of a separate police probe in November 2011 when a bag belonging to him, which contained an escort profile, details of his website, his press card and viagra was found, apparent evidence of the defendant passing himself off as a sex consultant.

"I don't think I'd be a sex worker, look at me," Moncrieffe told the jury, insisting he had invented a persona so he could investigate the Tender Loving Care Trust, but abandoned the project after two weeks.

"I wanted to infiltrate the organisation because I suspected disabled people were being exploited and my job is to bring that out into the public domain.

"A condition of TLC is that you have your own website giving more information on yourself, including more pictures in evening wear and swimwear. 

"It seems they are a bone fide organisation, legal. There was no story there."

Different members of hospital staff gave evidence against the father-of-four, who regularly visited the woman, and the first said he lifted her oxygen mask and kissed her on the lips.

Moncrieffe explained: "It was an adult-sized mask and she's got a very little face and the mask kept slipping down. I pushed it back onto the bridge of her nose and tightened it.

"She is always smiling and I said: 'Good girl,' and kissed her on the tip of her nose."

The second witness claims seeing Moncrieffe with the oxygen mask in his hand and suspecting him of kissing the woman, but admits their view was not clear.

"What would I want to kiss a little girl on the lips for?," asked the defendant. "Particularly a sick little girl."

A third witness says he was lying on the hospital bed, beside the woman, when he leaned over, lifted the oxygen mask and kissed her.

A fourth claim they heard the sound of kisses coming from Moncrieffe and the woman and he was arrested the day another member of staff says he was touching her between the legs.

"We were holding hands and our hands were resting on her lap," he told the jury. We always held hands, a child likes security.

"The next thing I knew two uniformed security guards arrived."

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